New computers at the Lockhart Public Library “have been used nonstop,” according to Director of Library Services Bertha Martinez. “The word is getting out,” she said. In particular, the Americans With Disabilities Act configured system and desk have been in “heavy use,” and the library will probably need another one in the near future, Martinez noted.
The systems, software and other items were installed a few months ago by Technology For All (TFA), a Texas non-profit organization that is part of the Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2). In addition to the Lockhart library, TXC2 also installed new computers at the nearby Lockhart Technology Center.
In late 2010, TXC2 received a grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) and the federal Department of Commerce to expand broadband access and adoption in communities across America. TFA is headquartered in Houston with a branch office in Smithville. The Smithville location focuses on providing broadband, computers, and free training to rural Texas residents.
Martinez notes one Lockhart resident already found a job using the new computers combined with some personal training. A library patron told Martinez he had an employment interview with a large sporting goods and outdoor recreation company the next day. He did not necessarily need computer experience for the work, but he had to demonstrate his ability to use a computer. Using one of the new systems, Martinez sat him down in front of the machine and offered one-on-one training over the next few hours. He got the job.
The Dr. Eugene Clark Library is located at 217 S. Main St. in Lockhart, Texas. It is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and closed Sunday. Visit the website at http://www.library.lockharttx.net/.
The Lockhart Technology Center, 901 Bois D’Arc, is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The center offers computer access, training, and knowledgeable staff. The center also works with various online universities as a proctoring location. For more information, see the center’s website at http://www.lockhart-tx.org/web98/citydepartments/technologycenter.asp.